Why Jeff Lurie has no problem with Jalen Hurts’ stoic demeanor

Why Jeff Lurie has no problem with Jalen Hurts’ stoic demeanor originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

ORLANDO, Fla. — Eagles owner Jeff Lurie is an advocate for authenticity.

Especially in his head coach and franchise quarterback.

During the Eagles’ free-fall at the end of the 2023 season, there were plenty of images of a stone-faced Jalen Hurts on the sideline or of wild-man Nick Sirianni.

Two sides of the spectrum, both authentic.

“That’s what he is,” Lurie said of Hurts. “It’s the worst thing to be 24, 25 and to try to be something. Be authentic as he is. He’s an excellent, excellent example. There’s times for the stoicism.

“When we were 10-1 people said it’s because of Jalen’s stoicism and calm under the storm that we were 10-1 in all those close games and then lose a few and, ‘Ah, maybe he’s not as demonstrative’ or whatever. I love the way Jalen is. I think he has his own style.”

What Lurie said is certainly true. Most people viewed Hurts’ calm demeanor as a major positive when the team was successful. But when things started to slide last season there were reports that some wanted Hurts to be a little more of an outward leader. Hey, maybe it would have helped.

Hurts didn’t play well down the stretch in 2023 but, then again, nobody did. That’s why the Eagles lost six of their last seven games. But Lurie gave Hurts a strong vote of confidence on Tuesdasy.

“He will adjust to that and lead the way because he’s really respected for being who he is,” Lurie said. “You have a 25-year-old player. I think you want to reinforce who they are, not try to mold them into somebody they’re not. He’s an exceptional leader.”

Lurie is the top guy in charge of the organization and on Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, he preached authenticity. Hurts is still just 25 and could still grow and change but it seems like Lurie doesn’t want Hurts to play a role of what some think a good leader should look or sound like. Lurie wants Hurts to be himself.

He also wants Sirianni to be himself … most of the time.

The fiery head coach has earned a reputation after repeatedly blowing a gasket on the sideline. That act sometimes seems to wear a bit thin.

“I think, first of all, one of the aspects that makes Nick really good is he’s authentic. He doesn’t hold back,” Lurie said. “That also can be a negative at times. On the sideline, you don’t want to infuriate the referees. I always worry about, you know, I want the referees to give us a fair shake, so I don’t want him to overreact. But I love his passion.

“So I think he recognizes that it can be a little bit counterproductive if he overdoes his own passion, but you don’t want to stop where that passion is coming from. So you got to find a sweet spot. I think he wants to find a sweet spot of what that’s like. I love his passion, though.”

Sirianni is entering his fourth season as head coach and has been around football for most of his life. So it’s not like he’s going to change his personality overnight. Even Sirianni has admitted to being “too tense” at times on the sideline, so Lurie’s words won’t be a shock.

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